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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs   25 December 2013  
Vietnam targets 5.8 percent GDP growth for 2014

Vietnam will strive for gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 5.8 percent in 2014.     
The goal was set during a December 23 online conference between the Government and localities to discuss the Government’s draft resolution on key tasks and the roadmap to realise the 2014 socio-economic plan approved by the National Assembly, and outline budget estimates for the year.    
The resolution also targets a 10 percent rise in exports with a trade deficit of 6 percent of the export revenue and a consumer price index of 7 percent.     
In 2014, the Government will spend about 30 percent of the total GDP on social development, reducing the ratio of poor households by 1.7 - 2 percent and 4 percent in poor districts, and generating about 1.6 million jobs.    
To reach the goal, the Government asked localities nationwide to focus on major solutions including continuing to stabilise the macro-economy and control inflation, removing difficulties for businesses and promoting production.    
It is necessary to take important steps in line with economic reform, renovating the growth model and improving the efficiency and competitiveness of the economy, while ensuring social security and welfare, and improving people’s living conditions.    
The Government requested the localities to use resources in a suitable and effective way, protecting the environment and actively responding to climate change.    
The localities were also asked to speed up corruption prevention and fight, practice thrift and avoid wastefulness, better the settlement of complaints, while ensuring national defence, social security and safety.    
In addition, it is crucial to expand and improve external relations activities and stay active in international integration, and intensify awareness work to strengthen social consensus, the resolution said.    
The localities were also asked to report the implementation of the resolution, commencing from January 2014, every month and quarter.    
Addressing the two-day conference, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung urged leaders of localities and sectors to review the socio-economic situation in 2013 and define the reasons behind shortcomings and limitations, while giving proposals to better the situation.    
Evaluating the implementation of Government Resolution No. 1 on key measures to realise the 2013 socio-economic plan and Resolution No. 2 on measures to remove difficulties for businesses, support the market and deal with bad debts, Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh said positive changes have been seen in the country’s socio-economic situation.    
The results are demonstrated by the successful control of inflation,  macro-economic  stability and economic recovery. Big steps have been taken in removing business difficulties and handling bad debts, he said, adding that social security and welfare have been  ensured.     
A report on Government management in 2013 also pointed out that with the efforts of the whole political system, the country’s socio-economic situation is on the right track, while general targets have basically been reached. (VNA)

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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